Guts wuz robbed!

GutsGUTS THE DOG was stolen from outside my sister-in-law’s business a few days ago. This did not surprise me since he’s a cute and valuable pooch. After his extensive bath and haircut, it became obvious that he is a pure-bred fellow with a pedigree.

But two days after the robbery, he came wandering home with a string around his neck, which he obviously broke to flee his captors. So all is well, but I imagine his return will be temporary because he is still allowed to sit outside unsupervised. It’s like putting a 1,000-peso bill on the sidewalk.

Guts’ return reminded me of my mini-parrot named Tube Steak who likewise returned home after a few days on the lam. Tube Steak had not been stolen. He simply escaped because a cat entered the apartment through an open window, upended Tube Steak’s cage, and the bird hightailed it out that same window.

Tube Steak was quicker than the cat.

This adventure took place years ago between one of my many marriages — I forget which — and I was living solo in the French Quarter of New Orleans in a tiny studio apartment, a section of what is known as Slave Quarters. Please forgive me for the word slave because I know so many of you find it dreadfully offensive.

I promise not to utter it again in this post.

That (word omitted) apartment consisted of one small room, a tiny bathroom and a minuscule kitchen. It was in that kitchen that I left the window open one day while I was toiling at The Times-Picayune — or maybe it was the earlier and now-defunct States-Item. I forget which. The mind wanders.

tube steakI came home that afternoon, found the cage upended and the window open, and put 2 and 2 together. There were no feathers on the floor, so I figured Tube Steak had escaped instead of being devoured. Distraught, I put the cage in the closet and figured I was short one pretty bird.

Less than a week later, on my day off, I was sprawled — with a highball — on the bed, which sat just inside the open door with romantic New Orleans jalousies. It was late afternoon.

Past the door was a small balcony overlooking a lush, enclosed courtyard I shared with neighbors. Perhaps there were some leftover oyster shells out there. I occasionally bought burlap bags of oysters, which I cracked open and ate raw with my friends and Dixie beer.

Tube Steak came walking through the door. Not flying, mind you, but strolling with that attitude of his. Imagine my surprise. I jumped up, pulled the cage from the closet and returned my pal to his proper place.

And that’s all I recall. It’s been a long time. I vaguely remember giving Tube Steak away as a gift to a girlfriend later on, but don’t hold me to that. But I’ll never forget Tube Steak’s return and his jaunty entrance through the open doors with romantic New Orleans jalousies, in from the courtyard. It was a happy homecoming.

Just like the return of Guts from a Mexican cobblestone street.

* * * *

(Two earlier posts on Guts, in proper sequence, can be found here and here.)

26 thoughts on “Guts wuz robbed!

  1. I don’t mind the word slave but “TUBE STEAK”?!? You are too funny, Felipe. How did that poor bird end up with that name?

    I hope all is well with you and your beautiful señora!


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mike: If memory serves, and I think it does in this case, it was a girlfriend named Lane who came up with that name.

      Yes, all is well here, thanks. Hope you can say the same.


  2. This is where you’ve got to put your foot down. Your sister-in-law has a duty to protect Guts, and if she fails, then it’s your responsibility to give him a good home at The Hacienda. Letting him wander around unsupervised, unleashed is criminal neglect.

    If he’s not stolen, he’ll get hit by a car. And people who steal animals don’t always treat them well. He could be sold into what amounts to Pet Slavery, a circumstance that makes Simon Legree look like Aunt Jemima. Stolen pets end up in laboratories, both professional and amateur. Anyone who permits a dog to run loose would treat a 2-year-old child with the same reckless abandon. Guts may not come back next time.

    It’s not a matter of political correctness. Anyone who takes on pet ownership is much, much more than an owner. That person is a guardian, charged with acting in the best interests of the ward. I cannot write any more, lest someone with nothing better to do starts drawing parallels.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ms. Shoes: I agree with all you say, which is why we don’t have pets.

      As for putting my foot down, yeah, right. These people are Mexicans. A few years back, she had a black lab and a golden retriever living together in a small interior patio where they were stir-crazy for years. Another sister-in-law of mine who lives in Morelia had a dog permanently enclosed in her little service patio for years too, absolutely ignored. Every time we visited, the dog — filthy with matted hair — would jump up to where its head was just visible in a window and yap, yap, yap for attention.

      I kept trying to convince her, and even considered doing it myself while nobody was looking, to simply toss the dog into the street. Would have been a huge improvement for the pooch.

      I don’t recall whatever happened with that poor dog.


      1. I once bought a Basenji puppy that did not have much experience outdoors. While two of my friends were conversing at the front door, the dog escaped, ran down the driveway and immediately got runover. A dog needs to learn how to survive out in the street.

        A dog needs to have guts and “street smarts” in order to survive, no matter where they live.


  3. I am not offended by the word slave, I am offended that you gave your parrot to some casual girlfriend. Parrots form very deep bonds with their owners. Who knows what he had to go through to get back to you.


    1. Christine: Of course, the slave mention was tongue in cheek, a little jab at the PC people.

      As for the girlfriend, she was not casual at all. We had quite a lengthy relationship and she was the one who gave Tube Steak his nice name. As for parrots forming bonds with their owners, I did not know that. You have enlightened me. As for his having to go through much to get back home, I kind of doubt it. I imagine he was hanging out on a nearby rooftop, enjoying his liberty until it dawned on him that no one was putting free seed into his cup. He looked none the worse for wear.


  4. Glad Guts came home and hopefully your sister-in-law will take care of him. As for parrots, there was recent article of one in SoCal that went missing for 4 years. Spoke British accented English when he left. Returned speaking only Spanish.


    1. Mike M: She’ll take care of him in some ways, but he’s gonna be out on the sidewalk. She says she’s told her employees to keep an eye on him. They have no vested interest in doing that.

      Good parrot yarn.


  5. Reminds me of the pet dogs kept by restaurant owners across the street from my daughter’s apartment (second story) in Berlin. It used to be East Berlin and there still exists a population of free-thinker hippie types and they all had dogs, unleashed, following their owners’ every step down the sidewalks. The restaurant owners had their dogs tied to the entry door during opening hours every day. Those dogs did not molest any customers but there were certain passing, unleashed dogs that raised the ire of the tied dogs. No fights, though. Go figure.

    C’mon, you can get SIL to LEASH and restrain the dog to the front of her store! If she doesn’t, at least do that, I guess she’s just indifferent to what happens to Guts, pedigree or no. Infuriating 😦 Or let his coat grow out and become scrappy-looking again.


    1. Carole: I really cannot get my SIL to do squat. She will nod, smile and ignore me on this. She is definitely not indifferent to what happens to Guts. She was upset when he vanished, but Mexicans simply think differently in many ways than you and I do. I have often stated that living here is akin to being in Alice’s Wonderland.

      As for letting his hair grow back to his previous street-life look has been suggested. Time will tell.


      1. I would say, then, that skipping the grooming but keeping him from being flea/tick infested would make him less attractive to dog teefs.


  6. Different people have different attitudes toward animals. In 2008 the real estate market collapsed and people lost houses like crazy. Two out of three houses in my neighborhood went into repossession. People walked off and left their animals. We had packs of feral dogs wandering the neighborhood. We couldn’t take garbage to the alley without carrying a stick with a nail in it. A groundskeeper at the park was attacked and half eaten by a pack of pit bulls. It took about two years for the situation to resolve itself. No, it wasn’t animal control that did the deed, but heavy traffic. Sad to say.


  7. My wife adopted a dog from your town two years ago. Right now he is with us in a suite in the California wine country chewing on a bone from my osso buco.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks very much, Señor Cuevas. I’ve never revealed this before, but I guess I should. Mark Twain actually learned from me. I am much older than I have mentioned. I don’t look it because I have good genes.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Great story, Felipe. I recall that many parrots lived in the tropical palms lining the southshore of Lake Ponchartrain in New Orleans. I had an apartment on the lake for a short period and often strolled along the shore. These were all escapees from what I was told. I don’t know if they came from the Slave Quarters or not, but they were free, indeed, thank God, almighty, free at last.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Laurie: Yes, I recall those parrots, and I spotted them on occasion out in Metairie on high-power lines. Sure, they were not native to the area. Escapees or something. I bought Tube Steak in a pet store, however.


      1. I used to be caretaker for Winston, my sister’s parakeet, for a time when she was recuperating after a car accident. He had been living with his mate, Virginia Slims, but alas! my mom would only let me keep one. My sis did eventually watch Winston fly away from his cage, like a puff of smoke, he was gone in an instant. Forgive me for blathering. I am connected to the internet at home, which is leading to inane chatter.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Laurie: I don’t see what being online at home has to do with inane chatter, but your chatter is not inane anyway. Seeing as how just a tiny portion of people who read blogs ever leave a comment, all comments are appreciated. Well, nice ones anyway. Yours are nice ones.


  9. Let’s hope Guts doesn’t get stolen again. The little vaquero must have spent a couple of days heartbroken. Given all that you’ve written about that family, I think having a dog is a great thing for the little vaquero. Hopefully everyone will help him to stay with his new family.


    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Where we’ve lost one cat to traffic. Sad. Very sad.


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